USS Carl Vinson gets underway for RIMPAC

US Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) got underway from its San Diego homeport on June 18 to take part in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) departs San Diego in preparation for participation in exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018. Photo: US Navy

Carl Vinson is joining more than 50 surface ships and submarines, and representatives from 26 nations in the world’s largest international maritime exercise. The aircraft carrier’s 5,000 sailors are part of 25,000 personnel scheduled to participate in various training events ashore and at sea June 27 through August 2.

“This is a chance for us to showcase what we do and strengthen relationships with our international partners,” said Capt. Matthew Paradise, Carl Vinson’s commanding officer. “There are a lot of opportunities to build camaraderie.”

The training syllabus includes amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises as well as military medicine, humanitarian assistance and disaster response. Units will also train in counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal, and diving and salvage operations.

RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in the series that began in 1971. Participants this year include forces from Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam.

Brazil, Israel, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are participating for the first time.

Carl Vinson completed a three-month deployment to the Western Pacific in April. The mission included a bilateral exercise with Japan’s maritime forces and the first visit by a US aircraft carrier to Vietnam in more than 40 years.